candles, flowers and brown eggs

Here’s a Home Business Idea: Make and Sell Your Own Soy Candles

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Let’s veer off the “freelancing online” path and go down a more art-meets-science kind of path to candle making. Scented candles got a big bump last year as we all got holed-up in our homes and needed a way to relax that didn’t involve drinking or planking. 😃

According to CNBC, Bath and Body Works reported a 56% boost in same-store sales in 2020, a lot of that money coming from home fragrances. I actually know a woman who makes soy candles.

She also makes bath and body products, but her candles are superb.  She began making bath products in her home using recipes she found online and in books she picked up from the library.  

At first, she was buying essential oils from health food stores. Then she found a wholesaler online and began making frequent purchases from her supplier in Washington.  She was also able to get access to a wide range of essential oils and base oils and the prices were reasonable enough that she could afford to experiment.  

For a first stab at her product, she decided on three distinct candle recipes – one citrus mint scented candle to revitalize, another lavender candle scented for relaxation and another to promote sensuality.  She created corresponding bar soaps and body butters.  

In the beginning, she relied on family and friends to spread the word of her products because she didn’t really have an advertising budget.  She threw pamper parties at the homes of different friends, agreeing to supply the friend with free products if she could invite at least 7 other women to the party.  The strategy proved beneficial.  Within 3 years of her products’ initial debut, she was able to open her own brick and mortar store where she sold bath and body products, handmade jewelry, and clothes.

Tips for Becoming Starting a Candlemaking Side Business

Skills Inventory

Creativity, artistry, aromatherapy knowledge*** (these are chemicals!)

Physical/Virtual Inventory

I recommend Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.  It’s a fantastic book to have in your library. Needed raw materials include soy wax, beeswax, essential oils, containers (with lids), carrier oils.

Launch Cost

Varies.  I would say plan to invest at least $100 your first time around to experiment.  Also, stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods and Ross often have great deals on cooking grade oils such as grape seed, jojoba, almond and olive.  You may be able to find some great deals in the closeout stores.

Marketing

You will definitely need a website, not just to sell your products to sell things, but also to establish credibility and help people to understand your culture and your process. That’s HUGE when it comes to spa products and aromatherapy products. 

Aside: Always have your own website – never rely solely on a marketplace to run your business!!

For your social media strategy, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are important. Shoppers (especially women) use Facebook and Instagram to discover new products, and Pinterest is where they go to create virtual wish lists and shopping lists. So, having a presence on those platforms is important. 

Having a paid social media strategy is also a good move, if you have the money. And I would go so far as to recommend working with nano influencers (influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers) who can try, review, and recommend your candle line for free products, and if you have it in the budget, you can even pay them a modest fee like $25 or $50. 

Influencer prices will vary greatly, depending on the popularity of the influencers, their audience size, the type of content you want them to create (video costs way more than static image posts). You’ll also probably pay a premium for creators who know how to dream up great content. 

Add your business to online directories and it’s not a bad idea to partner with lifestyle bloggers and mommy bloggers to write articles for their blogs. 

Think about partnering up with local salons and nail shops and offer to give them a cut of the profits if they carry your products.